Making CapsLock equal Control in Debian Squeeze (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing, Science, and Nature.

Sun, 20 Mar 2011

Making CapsLock equal Control in Debian Squeeze

It's time for another installment of "Where have the control/capslock adjustments migrated to?" This time it's for the latest Debian release, "Squeeze".

Ever since they stopped making keyboards with the control key to the left of the A, I've remapped my CapsLock key to be another Control key. I never need CapsLock, but I use Control constantly all day while editing text. Some people prefer to swap Control and CapsLock.

But the right way to do that changes periodically. For the last few years, since Ubuntu Intrepid, you could set XKbOptions for Control and Capslock in /etc/default/console-setup. But that no longer works in Squeeze.

It turns out Squeeze introduced a new file, /etc/default/keyboard, so any keyboard options previously had in console-setup need to move to keyboard. For me, that's these lines:

XKBMODEL="pc104"
XKBLAYOUT="us"
XKBVARIANT=""
XKBOPTIONS="ctrl:nocaps,compose:menu,terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp"
though I suspect only the last line matters.

This wasn't well covered on the web. There aren't many howtos covering Squeeze yet, but I found the hint I needed in a terse Debian IRCbot factoid: Factoid capslock says

For console-setup, append ",ctrl:nocaps" to the value of XKBOPTIONS within /etc/default/console-setup (/etc/default/keyboard on Squeeze).

That factoid assumes you already have XKBOPTIONS set; as shipped, it's empty, so skip that initial comma.

I was going to conclude with a link to the documentation on XKBOPTIONS, or XKbOptions as it was capitalized in xorg.conf ... but there doesn't seem to be any. It's not in any of the Xorg man pages like xorg.conf(5) where I expected to find it; nor can I find anything on the web beyond howtos like this one from people who have figured out a few specific options. Anyone know?

Tags: , ,
[ 11:54 Mar 20, 2011    More linux/install | permalink to this entry | comments ]
(Commenting requires Javascript from ShallowSky.com and Disqus.com, and a cookie from Disqus.com.)
blog comments powered by Disqus